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Tokyo 2020: Organisers to vaccinate volunteers

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Tokyo Olympics organisers are considering vaccinating all 70,000 Games volunteers, CEO Toshiro Muto said yesterday, in a bid to reduce infection risks with around six weeks until the sporting extravaganza.

And overseas journalists covering the event will have their movements tracked by GPS, Muto said, as Games officials try to reassure a sceptical public that the mega-event can be held safely.

Around 10,000 volunteers – who are vital to the smooth running of the Games – have quit over issues including virus concerns.

Muto said a plan to offer shots to volunteers helping at venues and the Olympic village was “definitely under discussion”, and could be widened to domestic media and other Japan-based participants.

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“In terms of volunteers, especially volunteers who are bound to be near the athletes, we need to treat them as if they’re the same as athletes,” he said.

Japan has seen a smaller Covid-19 outbreak than many countries, but until recently its vaccine roll-out had been relatively slow. Around 3.5 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.

Japanese Olympic athletes have started to receive their jabs in a separate programme, part of an International Olympic Committee deal with Pfizer.

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